SOUTH HOLLAND │ A new welding lab at South Suburban College will help train students in a field where there is a growing demand for jobs.
SSC was one of 17 recipients of the first round of Trade Adjustment Assistance funding from the U.S. Department of Labor through the Illinois Green Economy Network. This grant funded the new lab with eight welding stations and a state-of-the art welding simulator.
On Tuesday, the college hosted an open house for the welding lab – a lab SSC engineering and technology department chair Steve Kasper said is one of the things he can mark off on his bucket list for needs at the college.
“This is an excellent opportunity for the students who come here and look for welding,” he said. “Before we didn’t have it and they had to go to other schools we had an agreement with. Ours is the newest and best equipped. It’s like a dream come true because where can you get the money to pay for something like this in one shot?”
Tom Govan, dean of engineering and technology, said there are a lot of job opportunities for welders because a lot of current welders are retiring and many students haven’t considered welding as a job.
“Labor statistics show that there are plenty of jobs out there for great welders,” he said. “It’s time to get this program up and running.”
SSC president Don Manning said he’s proud the college has a new discipline that will lead to jobs for students. He also said the college would like to attract more females to the welding field. He hopes the welding instructor, Lisa Moran, will help do that.
Moran said she’s teaching a comprehensive welding program that features “a plethora” of welding processes.
“It’s an incentive for women to start a welding program and the trades,” she said.